No one wants to wait for a brisket to cook for 8-12 hours (or longer) only to eat it drier than the Sahara desert.
Of course, what appears to be a deliciously moist and juicy brisket as you cut into it can quickly become dried out and tough once it’s sliced.
Here’s how you should slice your brisket to maintain maximum moisture and how to keep it moist even after slicing!
Cooking your brisket so that it’s melt-in-your-mouth tender and juicy is one thing. Keeping it moist and juicy after slicing it is a whole ‘nother ball game.
When it comes to retaining the moisture in your brisket there are a few tactics you should employ BEFORE you slice it, as well as a few actions you can take AFTER you slice it.
All in all, the easiest way to keep your brisket moist after slicing it is to ensure you:
- Let the brisket rest before slicing
- Only slice your brisket when you’re ready to eat
- Only slice up how much you need
- Slice your brisket correctly
- Store your sliced brisket properly for later consumption
Here’s how to execute each of these steps flawlessly.
Let The Brisket Rest Before Slicing
The first step to ensuring your brisket retains as much moisture as possible is to let it rest for at least 30 mins to an hour before slicing at all!
Simply put, resting your brisket allows it’s natural juices to reabsorb into the meat, helping it retain maximum moisture when you start slicing it.
If you slice your brisket too early, excess moisture will seep out of the meat and won’t make it’s way back in!
Only Slice Your Brisket When You Are Ready To Eat!
Even after you’ve rested your brisket for a sufficient time, there’s still no rush to slice it up.
In fact, the sooner you slice it up, the more it will lose it’s natural tender nature.
This is because the larger the surface area (sliced vs. unsliced brisket for example), the more evaporation occurs – drawing the moisture from the meat.
Keep your brisket whole up until you are ready to serve!
Only Slice Up How Much You Need
Instead of slicing up the entire brisket, you should aim to only slice as much as you are going to consume in that one sitting.
The longer you can keep your brisket whole before slicing, the easier it is to maintain it’s moisture content.
Sure, if you’re portioning up the leftover brisket for lunches or dinners for on the go, then you’re going to have to slice it up first. Even then there are a few strategies you can employ to keep a sliced brisket moist and tender!
Slice Your Brisket Correctly
You may not know this, but the way you’re slicing your brisket can drastically affect its taste, texture, and even moisture content!
The correct way to slice brisket is to slice it AGAINST the grain about ¼ inch thick give or take.
The direction will differ between the point and the flat – so if you’re slicing a full packer brisket be sure to cut each part of the brisket separately.
Full a complete guide on slicing your brisket check out this guide.
Store Your Remaining Slices In Foil
Ya’ know how you wrap your brisket while you’re smoking it to maintain it’s moisture?
That same strategy can be used to retain all the remaining moisture of a sliced brisket!
This is because the leading cause of your brisket drying out after it’s sliced is the moisture which escapes through contact with the air – particularly if it’s still steaming!
The easiest way to prevent any further loss of moisture is to wrap any leftover brisket slices tightly in foil soon after they are sliced.
Retaining Moisture When Reheating Brisket
When it comes to reheating your brisket – not all methods are equal. When you’re reheating sliced brisket you need to be even more cautious of drying it out!
The best way I’ve found to reheat sliced brisket is by using the oven method – but with a little twist.
First, ensure you’ve wrapped your sliced brisket in foil. If you want to go the extra mile add any resting juices or broth you’ve saved from the cook.
Bring your oven to 350°F and reheat your brisket for between 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your brisket package.
Beautifully moist and tender every time.
It may seem like it, but the succulent and juicy nature of the brisket isn’t made by magic. It’s the tender love and care that we provide it every step through it’s journey to be consumed.
If you put in all that effort to smoke or slow cook your brisket – you might as well take the extra care to slice it and store it properly!
Simply let the brisket rest, only slice up how much you’re going to be eating, and only when you are actually ready to eat it!
Don’t forget to store in tightly wrapped in foil (with or without some extra juices!).